Olympic Peninsula, 18-Sep-2013

After a tiring hike the day before, we did less strenuous hikes on our second full day, all around the La Push area. Since our first walk was going to be along the beach, we headed out early enough to get there not long after low tide. We started at Rialto Beach, to the north of the mouth of the Quilayute River (La Push being on the south side). The weather was clear enough for us to be able to look all up and down the coast as we walked by lots of people on their morning strolls.

 Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

 Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

After a couple miles we arrived at Hole-in-the-Wall, which, as the description indicates, is a hole in the cliffside. You can't go through at high tide, which is why we timed our hike the way we did. In addition to being able to pass through the cliff, the tide pools had all sorts of life in them. In addition to the plant life we saw mussels, urchins, anemones, and sea stars. As we started walking back the fog started rolling in, and thickly. While we started out being able to see all up and down the beach, visibility went down to a few hundred feet.

 Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach

Hole-in-the-Wall, Rialto Beach

After we got back to the car and shook the sand out of our boots, we stopped by the Mora Ranger Station and walked along the short loop to James Pond which was created by beavers. There were lots of dragonflies there, and I spent a lot of time trying to grab shots. Focus ended up being the hard part (since they're relatively small compared to everything around them) but I had fun trying.

 Dragonfly, James Pond

Dragonfly, James Pond

We were ready for lunch so we went around the mouth of the Quilayute out to La Push, hoping to eat our picnic lunch at First Beach. The fog was still in, as well as the wind, so we settled for looking around a bit then driving back to the room to have our lunch.

 First Beach, La Push

First Beach, La Push

Since we had the afternoon free, we decided to try to find a café where we could get good wireless access. We did have access from our room, but while the signal was mostly good, the connection to the internet was very iffy. My phone also didn't have great data access, so I ended up retrying things pretty often before being able to actually get content. Thus the idea to find a café. I got a good enough wireless signal to look up places on my phone, so we had a few places to check out. Into the car we went, but we couldn't find the first place. As in while there was a building where it was supposed to be, it was most definitely not a café. On to option number two, which was closed. The third place ended up being a kiosk, not a place with tables. We ended up going to the coffee place attached to the grocery store, but they didn't have wireless. We got drinks anyway and picked up snippets of conversations around us, mostly either people on break from the grocery store or people who were looking for work.

Back to the room for a little while, then out to dinner. We settled on a pizza place which was, of course, right next to the grocery store. We enjoyed our meal and went back to settle in for the night. Of course, our wireless connectivity was completely down for about an hour, but after that was the best we had during the whole stay. Figures.